Created by Joss Whedon (of Buffy the Vampire Slayer), Firefly was an "outer-space Western" set some four to five centuries in the future. Nathan Fillion starred as Captain Mal Reynolds, a disillusioned interplanetary-war veteran and outlaw of the Alliance, the current ruling government. Reynolds was skipper of the transport ship Serenity, a "Firefly-class" vessel. The cast of characters included Inara (Morena Baccarin), a doctor named Simon (Sean Maher), and a mystical preacher named Book (Ron Glass). Firefly made its American network debut on September 20, 2002, on Fox; it was cancelled after only 14 episodes.
by Hal Erickson synopsis